How Did Ancient Greece Influence Western Civilization?

Ancient Greece is considered to be one of the most influential civilizations in the world, particularly when it comes to Western Civilization. The Greeks had a significant impact on many areas of life, including art, literature, philosophy, politics, and even sports. In this article, we will explore how ancient Greece influenced Western Civilization.

Art and Architecture

Greek art and architecture are some of the most famous in the world. The Greeks were known for their exquisite sculptures and their use of columns in architecture.

One of the most iconic Greek structures is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena on the Acropolis in Athens. The Parthenon’s design has influenced many other buildings throughout history, including government buildings in Washington D.C., such as the Lincoln Memorial.


Greek sculptures were created with incredible attention to detail and realism. They depicted mythological figures, athletes, and everyday people. One of the most famous Greek sculptures is the statue of David by Michelangelo, which was heavily influenced by Greek sculpture.


Greek architects used three types of columns: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. These columns were used in temples and other public buildings throughout Greece. The use of columns spread throughout Western Civilization and can be seen in buildings such as the U.S. Capitol Building.


Greek literature has had a significant influence on Western literature. The Greeks wrote epic poems like Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey that are still read today. These poems told stories about gods and heroes that have been retold for centuries.


The Greeks also created drama as we know it today with plays like Antigone by Sophocles and Oedipus Rex by Euripides. These plays explored complex themes such as fate and morality that are still relevant today.


Greek philosophy has had a massive impact on Western philosophy. The Greeks asked questions about the nature of reality and the meaning of life that are still being explored today.

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle

Three of the most famous Greek philosophers are Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Socrates believed in questioning everything to find truth, while Plato believed that reality was not what we see but what we understand. Aristotle believed in finding balance in all things and is known for his work on ethics.


The Greeks also had a significant influence on Western politics. The Greeks were known for their democracy, which was one of the first forms of government where people could vote and have a say in how they were governed.

Athenian Democracy

Athenian democracy was created in Athens in the 5th century BCE. Citizens could vote on laws and policies and served on juries. This idea of citizens having a say in their government has influenced many other democracies throughout history.


The Greeks also created the Olympic Games, which have become a symbol of international cooperation and competition.

Olympic Games

The ancient Olympic Games were held every four years in Olympia from 776 BCE to 393 CE. The games featured various athletic competitions such as running, wrestling, boxing, and chariot racing. Today, the Olympics are held every four years with thousands of athletes from around the world competing.

In conclusion, ancient Greece has influenced Western Civilization in many ways. From art and architecture to literature and philosophy to politics and sports, the Greeks have left an indelible mark on our society that is still felt today.